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Collection Overview

Meloy, W. T. (William Taggart), 1838-1904
Princeton University. Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
William Taggart Meloy Yellowstone Scrapbooks
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box B-001458


Consists of ten scrapbooks containing photographs and clippings from newspapers, magazines, and travel guides documenting a 1900 trip to Yellowstone National Park taken by Reverend William Taggart Meloy, John T. Meloy, Emma Meloy, Daisy Meloy Rankin, and Dr. James D. Rankin.

Collection Description & Creator Information


This collection consists of ten handmade scrapbooks containing clippings from newspapers, magazines, and travel guides, as well as 15 vernacular Kodak photographic prints documenting a 1900 sightseeing trip to Yellowstone taken by Reverend William Taggart Meloy and his family members, including John T. Meloy, Emma Meloy, Daisy Meloy Rankin, and Dr. James D. Rankin. Locations include Ouray and Grand Junction, Colorado; Butte, Montana; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Yellowstone National Park.

The scrapbooks contain clippings of articles by Meloy that were published in The United Presbyterian, a weekly religious newsletter based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Meloy was a weekly contributor to The United Presbyterian, and his letters back to Pittsburgh detailed his experiences and expectations on his trip West. The photographs included in the scrapbooks were not published in The United Presbyterian but were meant to share with family members back home. Images depict William Meloy in front of Old Faithful; James and Emma Meloy in front of a streetcar in Grand Junction, Colorado; Emma Meloy riding a donkey in Ouray, Colorado; and the party floating in the Great Salt Lake; among others. The scrapbooks detail what Meloy found exciting, disappointing, and awe-inspiring on his trip through the Rocky Mountains, and provide insights into tourism in the American West at the turn-of-the-twentieth century.

Collection Creator Biography:

William Taggart Meloy was a Presbyterian minister from Chicago, Illinois. He was born on October 4th, 1838, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, to John Meloy and Eliza Young Meloy. He graduated from Washington College in 1860, and in 1862, joined the U.S. Army to fight for the Union during the Civil War, where he served as a second lieutenant in the 122nd Ohio Volunteers. After the war, Meloy studied theology at the Western Theological Seminary in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. He married Mary Brownlee on September 5th, 1865, and had six children. He began work as a pastor in Cadiz, Ohio, in 1865 but moved to Chicago in 1888 and became the pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church of Chicago. Meloy was a prolific writer and an avid traveler. He had a weekly column in the religious newsletter The United Presbyterian and wrote a few novels, including Wanderings in Europe (1896), which detailed his 1892 trip to Europe.

Collection History


This material was found in the repository during a collections move. Original acquisition information is unknown.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No materials were removed from the collection during 2020 processing.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in February 2020. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in February 2020, using description drafted by Megan B. Armknecht.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

William Taggart Meloy Yellowstone Scrapbooks; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184